One of the most common misdemeanors in Florida is driving without a valid driver’s license and using a suspended one. Getting charged with these criminal traffic offenses may seem minor. However, they come with potential penalties and imprisonment.
If caught and charged with driving without a license or driving with a suspended license in Miami, you would need a reputable traffic defense lawyer to help and guide you with your case.
Smith & Eulo has an outstanding team of traffic defense lawyers practicing in Miami at your disposal that are willing to extend a helping hand regarding these offenses. Contact us so we can learn more about your case.
How your driver’s license can get suspended in Miami, FL
You can get your driver’s license suspended in Florida for many reasons. It may also get suspended if you get enough points for getting convicted through any moving traffic violation.
If you accumulate 12 or more points on your driving record, your driver’s license might get suspended. It means you’re not allowed to operate a motor vehicle for a specific period. The length of suspension will depend on the points you received, which are as follows:
- 12 points: 30 days suspension
- 18 points within a year and a half: three months suspension
- 24 points within three years: one-year suspension
Driving with a suspended license is a criminal traffic offense in Florida. The penalties for this crime are more severe than those for driving without a license. The penalties for DWLS with knowledge may vary depending on the facts of the case and your prior record.
Other reasons how your driver’s license can get suspended
Your license may be suspended for several reasons apart from a moving traffic violation. Some of these are the following:
- Not paying child support
- Received a traffic ticket and didn’t appear in court
- Failing to comply with insurance requirements
Penalties you get when caught driving with a suspended driver’s license
If charged after getting caught while driving with a suspended driver’s license, it’s crucial to find and hire a notable driving with a suspended license lawyer in Miami. They should have a good background in terms of handling traffic defense cases. Hiring an attorney is also a part of exercising your rights.
Once charged, you should be aware of the penalties you might receive. These are:
- First offense: 60 days of jail time with a $500 fine
- Second offense: You get charged with a first-degree demeanor with penalties of up to one year in prison. A $1000 fine will be given with a vehicle impoundment
- Third offense: The last violation will result in felony charges and five years of imprisonment. Plus, you will have a maximum fine of $5000
Even if convicted with a suspended license, you may still apply for a hardship license. A hardship license grants you limited driving privileges for travel to work or school during the suspension.
Take note that you will be labeled as a Habitual Traffic Offender if you have already received the third charge within five years. It will result in a five-year revocation of your driver’s license. At the same time, your prison time and fines might increase, and you won’t be able to apply for a hardship license within the first year of your most recent conviction.
How a DWLS Differs from Driving Without a License in Miami
Driving without a license is not as severe as a DWLS charge. But it still has the potential of bringing you some penalties. The fines may vary depending on whether you have previously held a license and if your license got suspended in Florida or another state.
The first violation is deemed a non-criminal traffic infringement, and you may be fined $500 and have your automobile confiscated for up to 10 days. If this is your first infraction, the penalty will be lowered if you never have a license. You will only get a $200 fine, and your vehicle will not be impounded.
The second offense is considered a misdemeanor. The potential penalties include up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. But if the driver is eligible to get a license and resolve the infraction, they will only pay $25 for the court fee. But it’s only given to those who haven’t had any other citation resolved similarly in the past year.
Best possible defenses to avoid a DWLS or without a valid license charge
Once you find a Miami driving with a suspended license lawyer after being charged with driving with a suspended license, they will do their best to find the best possible defenses to have these charges dropped. They will collect all possible evidence to show in court that will back the defenses.
Some examples of defense are as follows:
- The state can’t prove that you were driving a vehicle
- If the state can’t prove that you had a driver’s license that was suspended, revoked, or canceled
- The state cannot prove that you had knowledge that your license was suspended, revoked, or canceled
- You are a victim of identity theft, and your license was provided to the arresting officer when caught
- Your license was not suspended due to clerical errors
- You have a suspension due to failure to appear in court, child support, or failure to pay court fines and fees
Working with a criminal defense attorney in Miami means they can help lessen your charges. The more evidence they gather, the higher their chances of dropping the charges.
Find a reputable traffic defense lawyer to help you with your case
Having a criminal traffic charge on your record can create problems in the future. The only way to solve this problem is by looking for a lawyer that can guide you every step of the way.
Smith & Eulo can provide you with a Miami traffic defense lawyer with years of experience with these types of cases. Call now to schedule your free consultation.
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